Unsealed documents reveal Hania Aguilar's suspected killer was targeting her neighborhood

Hundreds of pages of court documents unsealed Thursday reveal new information about what led to the arrest of Michael Ray McLellan in the kidnapping and murder of Hania Aguilar.

The release of the documents comes one day after Hania's autopsy report was made public. It showed that, though the medical examiner was unable to specifically determine how Hania died, her "means of death was most likely a form of asphyxia."

The new information starts with the day Hania was taken.

According to the probable cause affidavit, there were multiple witnesses who reported a black man wearing a yellow bandana trying to break into their home.

Twelve minutes later, police received the 911 call about Hania's abduction.

During the search for Hania, police released several surveillance videos, pleading with the public for tips. One of them showed a man walking in the area around the time of the kidnapping.

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The FBI encourages anyone with information about the abduction of Hania Noelia Aguilar to come forward.



According to the newly-released documents, one woman called investigators and said Michael Ray might be the guy. According to her statement, she saw him running away as helicopters searched the neighborhood from above.

The documents also reveal that witnesses told police McLellan was planning to target specific areas and people -- one of them being Rosewood Mobile Home Park, where Hania was kidnapped.

The witnesses said he was going to target that neighborhood because "Hispanics live there and...they have money and drugs."

A witness also told investigators that McLellan wore a yellow bandana so that people wouldn't know he was black and would think he was a member of the gang Latin Kings.

The documents state that on Nov. 8, McLellan and another man were approached by four Lumberton police officer at Deerfield Mobile Home Park, near Rosewood. The affidavit says that, when McLellan saw them, he ran away.

In addition to the information about Hania's case, the documents reveal new details about a 2016 rape case, for which McLellan is also the suspect.

ABC11 previously reported that the Robeson County Sheriff's Office had DNA evidence linking McLellan to that rape but the sheriff's office never followed up.

"In all likelihood had this gone forward and we established a case against him at that time, Hania would not have died," Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt previously said. "And for that, I can't tell you how much that hurts. How sorry I am."

After the 2016 rape, the rape kit was sent off for testing. In 2017, COTIS -- a federal DNA matching system -- named McLellan as a possible match and immediately notified the sheriff's office.

"What should've happened is that when they received the COTIS hit, that would've given them probable cause to get a search warrant to obtain a known DNA sample from McLellan," Britt said.

But that never happened.

And the newly released documents reveal the egregious nature of the rape case.

According to the affidavit, McLellan removed the air conditioning unit from a woman's home while she was sleeping and went inside. He then forced her, while holding a knife, to perform sexual acts on him and raped her, according to the document.
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